Picking up a second or third language is a desirable prospect for many people, but unless you’ve got the time to dedicate yourself completely to language studies, the thought of adding something else to an already full workload can be daunting.
That’s the reality for many of our students: busy, hard-working people who aspire to add a new language to their repertoire, whether out of personal interest or necessity. Many join a night class or squeeze in private lessons; the lucky ones take a break from their workdays to attend corporate classes arranged by their employer.
And according to research, the students whose workplaces make their learning a priority are ultimately a lot happier—and more successful—for it.
LinkedIn’s 2018 Workforce Learning Report found that 94% of employees “would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career,” but that the number one factor deterring employee learning is lack of time. Naturally, companies that carve out time from the work day to accommodate learning opportunities have a leg up on the competition when it comes to circumventing these concerns.
In the increasingly global world of business, language training is an especially effective way to ensure high levels of satisfaction for both employees and employers, who see their returns come in through increased productivity and drive.
A report released by Forbes Insights (in partnership with language software company Rosetta Stone) found that language training in the workplace boosts job performance and increases employees’ self-reported workplace satisfaction levels.Over half of those surveyed said they were more likely to stay at a company that offered language training, and 63% said learning a language made them feel more engaged at work. Knowledge and/or study of a second language has also been linked to improved memory, multitasking and decision-making.
But—perhaps more importantly—it’s not just performance and engagement that go up when companies invest in their employees’ learning. Their mental well-being improves as well, and that in turn boosts employee retention.
The American Psychiatric Association lists employee growth and development as one of the five components of a healthy workplace; work-life balance and employee involvement are also on the list. Language training allows companies to satisfy these crucial needs while also serving their own—64% of businesses believe language and cultural differences can hinder international expansion as well. Language studies can bridge the gaps between multilingual employees, allow for opportunities to communicate with global markets or simply provide employees with new skills to enrich and broaden their lives.
With current figures for replacing an employee sitting at roughly one third of their salary, failing to make employees feel like their development is a priority can be a costly mistake to make.
Business is only going to become more international and multilingual going forward, and as the international job market widens, so too will employees’ expectations of their employers.
And the message is catching: corporate language training is rapidly increasing in popularity, and soon, companies that don’t invest in their employees’ language development will be the odd ones out. The time to jump on the bandwagon is now!